Friday, December 30, 2022

Special End-of-Year 2022 News Quiz

Since it's the end of the year, I sought out an end-of-year quiz. I found this one from the New York Times:

Special End-of-Year 2022 News Quiz for Students

It's a good overview of the year, but there are a couple caveats. First, it's from the New York Times, so it's very US-centric. Second, it's 45 questions long. It's multiple choice, and the answers are given after you choose, but if you don't have time for a 45-question quiz, feel free to skip it.

I managed to get 41 out of 45. I'm impressed with that score. I did guess on a couple that I got right, but mostly I did remember most of these.

If you get a chance to take it, let me know how you did in the comments.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

2022 in 13 Posts

I did this for the first time in 2020, and I liked it so much I repeated it in 2021. I guess it's an annual event now.

For this week's Thursday 13, the last one of the year, I'm listing 13 posts from this year. I wouldn't call these the best posts. It's more of a retrospective of the year told in links. It's my blog year in review. In order of posting:

1January 27th: Disappointing Via Email

My year began in Ms. S's special ed class for young adults at the adult transition center (Ms. S suddenly retired in October 2021). January was when that Covid surge hit, and our outings got canceled, which I got to communicate to Pizza via email as he was out recovering from his Covid booster.

2February 17th: The Shrine

In February, I was back to day-to-day subbing. The 10th grade AP world history students were taking a test, and they had a ritual for test days. They set up a shrine in the classroom.

3March 16th: The Streaker

My day-to-day subbing was short-lived as another teacher at the adult transition center decided to retire at the end of February, and I covered that class until the end of the school year. This class was decidedly more challenging, typified by this post about Doris and her bathroom issues.

4April 14th: Leaky & April 15th: Molar, Cracked

This might be cheating, but these both happened at the same time. I just broke them down into two posts. I had to go to the dentist for another cracked tooth the day after there was a water emergency at home, so I stayed in a hotel overnight. 

5May 26th: Paper Airplanes and the Substitute Teacher

We did have some fun in that class at the adult transition center. They had never made paper airplanes. I thought it was time they learned how.

6June 13th: Happy Birthday, Niece

On my niece's 21st birthday, I posted pics of the tank top I knit her. (She chose it.) It seems like I didn't do too much knitting/crocheting this year, but I did manage to complete this project.

7July 6th: Illustrating the Lesson

After a crazy busy school year, I agreed to teach a summer school class. I learned how to post gifs to Google Slides. I think I enjoyed these more than the kiddos did.

8August 18th: The Soft Opening

And then the new school year began.

9September 5th: And Then It Was Done

This was my big project of the year: a unicorn hat. This was the post where I showed off the finished object. 

10September 15th: The Sandwich Incident & September 16th: The Mommy Option

Again, cheating, but again, this is one story told over two blog posts. Colton fought me on eating in class. I emailed his mother. His mother took his punishment to a whole 'nother level. (I wouldn't normally follow up like this, but I was covering the chemistry class for three weeks.) 

11. October 13th: The Visitor

After finishing in the chemistry class, I took a month covering a class called success seminar. It did not go well. Having a student who was not enrolled in the class did not help matters.

12November 10th: About Time

The schools got nifty new clocks. The bells are synched. This should be a good thing. But, of course, the kiddos have found the bugs in the system.

13December 2nd: Watch Out

In which a student throws chairs. Yes. Chairs. In the classroom. 

I feel like I'm leaving so much out. But this gives the gist of the year. How was your 2022?

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Swapping Names

I am on winter break this week. As is my custom, I will save the stories from last week for when we return to school in January. And so normally I'd be on the "summer schedule". 

But, as luck would have it, on the day of the chair throwing incident, I happened to have written a whole other blog post earlier. Obviously, a student throwing chairs is way more interesting. Rather than deleting this post entirely, I figured it would keep until school was on a break. 

It has been a while since I worked at the alternative education center. The kiddos I knew are now gone, replaced by a whole new batch of students. 

It was the Friday before Thanksgiving break. I had certain expectations going into the day. So, none of what happened truly surprised me.

First period. U.S. History. The students had a chapter to read and questions to answer. I was supposed to read the chapter with them, but immediately upon them entering the classroom, I knew that that wasn't going to happen. They were shouting out insults at each other, and I wish they had been just using F-bombs. The terminology they used was much ruder.

And then a couple of the boys were playing sounds out of their computer. It started with the Taco Bell bong, but it was soon audio clips of people speaking. Over and over a woman said something about her chest. There was some swearing as well. 

I was irritated. 

It didn't take long for me to figure out who was playing the audio clips. The boy who was doing it said his name was Ubaldo. His "friend" nearby was Verne. ("What kind of name is Verne, anyway?" he asked.) 

For other reasons, I went and looked over his shoulder. I was checking out the questions he was supposed to be answering.

In Google Classroom, the assignments posted automatically attach the student's name. So, I glanced at the title for the doc the boy was on, and it said his name. Verne. 

Yup, he was trying to confuse me by swapping names with his classmates. 

This is a very old trick. And, as I've noticed many times, they are very bad at it.

The next time Verne played an audio clip and I growled at him, he made some comment about himself being Ubaldo. 

Me: "Uh huh, okay, Verne." 

And then he knew. He had failed at getting me to believe he had a different name. 

I doubt that he really cares what I wrote in the note to his teacher. And I'm pretty sure Mr. T will not be surprised at what he got up to during class. But it's a little win for me, anyway.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

A Viral Sensation

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder.

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news.

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉 

What if your most embarrassing moment went viral? (And aren't we all glad that social media didn't exist when we were teenagers?)

Monday, December 26, 2022

Nearly Finished

Christmas day I tested positive for Covid. Sigh. My posts for this week were pre-scheduled, so they'll go out as planned. I'll probably be around as normal. Tale care, everyone. 

The last time I blogged about the Calash was on November 7th

I've been plugging away on this off and on, but I haven't been writing about it because there isn't much to say.

It's a scarf/hood. I started off casting on a few stitches. Then it grew until I got to the head part. At the top of the head I did some short rows. Then I knit back down the other side. 

Because this is a pattern with a hood, there is an ending point, unlike when one knits a scarf until one feels it's long enough. 

And, as of this writing, I'm about a dozen rows away from that ending point.


Of course, I don't really have any other projects going at the moment, but I'm on winter break, so allegedly I'll have some time to put something together and start it.

But as with how I've been knitting lately, I don't have a lot of confidence that that'll actually happen.

Hopefully I'll have a finished project to show off next week. 

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2022

That's Not the Math Assignment

The class was called "math support and enrichment". Officially it's an extra period of math for students who are struggling so they can get some extra help.

In practice it's a class of the worst behaved students who really don't want to be there. 

The following week was finals. They had the period to do some studying. Did they? Of course not.

"Could you sign something for me?"

I couldn't imagine what the boy needed me to sign. He handed me the page.

After a quick scan, I got the gist. It was the assignment from his health class. He was to interview an adult in his life, and the signature was the proof that the interview had taken place. 

The boy was going to fill out what he needed to fill out, but he needed an adult to sign off. It was due that same day. 

It was one of those "a lack of planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on my part" type of situations. 

I pointed out that he was supposed to interview someone. He asked if he could interview me.

No. Absolutely not. 

I already had my hands full with the class. One girl was yelling at just about everyone in class. They were picking on her. Then a group of boys was doing something on social media. And that was along with the other misbehaviors that I was just trying to keep a lid on.

But that's not the main reason I wasn't going to consent to an interview.

It's the end of the semester. The health classes are in their last unit. The sex ed unit. 

There's no way that goes any way but sideways.

(It was quite the treat to listen as the boy and another girl in the class went over material for the class. They mispronounced chlamydia and syphilis.)

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Pajama Days

Yup, believe it or not, we have school today. But it is the last day before the winter break. As it is my habit to write about the prior week, I will save the events from this week for after the break. Next week I'll go on my vacation schedule.

All of the schools I was at last week did "spirit weeks". But, as they are different schools, their dress up days weren't in the same order, although they did pretty much the same thing.

As a sub, I don't always know about these things in advance. I showed up to "red and green day" wearing purple and brown. But spirit days don't enjoy 100% participation, so I'm rarely alone in not participating. 

Lately, the most popular dress up day is pajama day. 

Wednesday, I was at a middle school. Pajama day. And about a third of each class were in their pajamas. There was even a kiddo in a robe and slippers with his pajamas. (They usually wear sneakers on their feet, and they don't usually come in their robes.) 

Some teachers even wore their pajamas. I mean, if I had known about it in advance... Nah. I don't have a decent pair of pajamas to wear in public. Not happening. (I actually wore my seven-and-a-half-year cardi.) 

The next day, Thursday, I was at the continuation high school. And what day was it? Yup, pajama day. 

Dress up days are far less popular at the continuation high school, but a few of them did come to school comfortable. Mostly the student leadership (the ones who set up the week). 

Me? Again, I wouldn't have dressed up even if I knew about it. 

Although, I have the perfect Santa hat for hat day. Alas, that was not the day I was at any of the schools. And I was at one of the schools for ugly sweater day, but I do not own any ugly Christmas sweaters (nor do I have any intention of acquiring one). 

This is one of the downsides to not having one school site I work at. Or, rather, this is one of the upsides. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

The Same Extra Period

It's finals week at the high schools. Yes, we have school this week. So, as is my habit, I continue to post subbing stories on weeks that I'm working (I am actually scheduled to work today), and I'll save this week's stories for when we return from the break in January. 

We have hit peak subbing season. Jobs are so plentiful that there are not enough subs to go around. This means I'm getting the dreaded extra period assignments. 

Well, not really dreaded...

When a teacher is out but they are unable to assign a sub (at the secondary level), that teacher is covered period by period by different teachers. 

Almost every teacher has a "conference" period. It's a free period where the teacher can do prep work like grading papers or planning lessons. For us subs who don't need prep time, it's just an hour off.

So, the front office asks various teachers and subs to go and cover the class missing a sub during the teacher's conference period. We do get paid for the extra work, so it's not an unreasonable ask.

(Although, lately there's pretty much no days where they aren't needing coverage. Most days there are at minimum two teachers but likely more who don't have their very own sub. That means that they need five other teachers to work an extra period to cover one teacher's absence. Multiply that by the number of teachers out, and you get why this sub shortage is hurting the schools.)

Tuesday, I was covering a special ed teacher. I had second period conference. I was given a computer class to cover.

It was easy enough. I had covered the teacher's classes before. 

Then Wednesday I was at the same school covering a history class. This time I had fourth period conference. I was given a choice of three classes to cover. And it turned out the computer teacher was out again. So, I figured why not? 

The lesson plan was the same as the previous day. They had work assigned via Google Classroom. And as they had the previous day, many of them took the day off. Sigh. 

Ah well. That's on them.

I still got paid (extra) for being there.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Vow of Honesty

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder.

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news.

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉 

What if you could gain magical powers, but only if you never lied again? (Are lies of omission lies? I'll leave that as unspecified.) 

Monday, December 19, 2022

My First

Have I ever shown you the first sweater I ever knit? I don't think I've ever posted it here.

It was the late '90s. I found the pattern in a magazine. It was about my speed, so I attempted it. And it came out pretty well.

This was not my first project. I had made slippers and hats and scarves before this. But I hadn't attempted a sweater.

No, that's not true. I just remembered my first sweater attempt. It was a fail. I misread the pattern, and I never could figure it out. This was before the internet. My great-grandmother was still alive, so I could have just asked her, but I was 17 and asking for help was not in my vocabulary. 

I still have that pattern someplace. I might just have to try it again. I know now what I did wrong then, so I could totally do it.

I knew I wanted a cardigan. And I knew how to do cables. Since then, I have used the moss stitch and the reverse single crochet many times. This is where I was introduced to them.

I hadn't thought of this sweater in some time. But, it's gotten a bit chilly as of late, and I went into my closet looking for something warm to put on, and I found it.

And, I really didn't have anything else yarn-y to talk about today, so here's a glimpse into the way-back files. 

It still fits. And I've pulled it out about three or four times in the last week. Stay warm, everyone.

Friday, December 16, 2022

So Young

The class was Link Crew, which is a leadership class where the students are involved with making the youngest students to the school feel welcome. They plan and run activities for them starting with an orientation at the beginning of the year.

Generally, leadership classes with a sub mean I sit there making sure they don't destroy the room. (They usually find homework to do or keep themselves occupied in other ways.) But on this day the other Link Crew advisor (who teaches the other period of Link Crew) was giving the kiddos a lesson.

It's fun to sit back and watch other teachers do their thing. Ms. S was getting the kiddos ready to come up with ideas for spring semester activities. 

At one point, she brought up jazzercise. (I don't remember the context.) "I'm sure you all have no idea what that is." 

One boy chimed in. "Does it have something to do with exercise?"

Ms. S admitted that was a good guess, but likely the guess as it had "-cize" in it. 

The boy: "It's that dance thing that people did in the '70s..."

And then I said something I've never before said to a student. I called him "child". 

Me: "Child, it was in the '80s." 

And I realized that I was likely the only person in that room who had existed in the '80s. Ms. S can't be more than 30. 

I stand by calling the student "child". Funny how it just slipped out.

Thursday, December 15, 2022


"Did you ever find out who was throwing the chairs?"

After the last time, you would think that I would avoid the alternative education center, right? Nope. I'm stupid that way. 

Someone said the above behind me as I was letting myself into the classroom at the start of first period. I did not see who asked it, but I suspect it was Austin. 

On this day I was covering the English class. (I covered this class before. A couple times. The current teacher of the class is Mr. B. Mrs. B was the teacher of the success seminar class that I covered for a month in October. Yes, they're married to each other.)

First and second periods went pretty smoothly. But I was dreading third as that's when Austin had the class. 

Before third period is snack. The students sit outside and eat. There are basketball hoops, so some will occupy themselves that way.

Some of them get into fights.

At the high school level, the kiddos mock fight all the time. They start slapping at each other, or they throw punches that look kind of real. We've learned to ignore that. 

So, when two boys started throwing punches, it was a couple seconds before anyone realized this was an actual fight. (The rest of the boys helpfully didn't start chanting, "Fight, fight!" which usually lets us know right away an actual fight is happening.) 

Security jumped right in. He pulled one boy away. Mr. T distracted the other boy, immediately taking him to the office. 

And that was about the time to start third period, so the other students got shooed into class.

I got class started and took roll. Guess who I did not have to deal with as he instigated the fight and was now in the office? Yup, I was spared another go-around with Austin. Yay!

The other boy returned to class about halfway through. 

The other students were happy Austin wasn't in class. He annoys them, too. 

They informed me that Austin hadn't been in school since I was last there. Apparently, he had been suspended. (I checked the online attendance. He had been suspended, and then he took about a week "off" as those days he was marked truant.) 

And it looks like he was suspended again. Although, as I'm not scheduled to be there, I won't know the difference.

I had reasonable classes the rest of the day, too. What a difference one student makes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

It's Still Sub Behavior

Ninth grade English. I had a co-teacher.

At this point in the year, and at this point in my career, certain teachers and classes are well-known to me. This was one of them. Mrs. D, the co-teacher, is someone I have worked with many times in the past

And I remembered that Mr. S was Lou's English teacher. 

Lou walked right by me, not even realizing I was there. He had his hood up, his sunglasses on, and his earbuds in his ears. He wasn't seeing anyone. But he perked up when he realized I was his sub.

So, class went pretty well. For a while.

They were writing an essay. But the ninth grade teachers are really teaching them how to write an essay. They're breaking down this thing paragraph by paragraph, and they're having them structure their sentences in a specific manner. 

Oh, the instructions are involved. They have Google Slides for each bit. They have to support their assertions with quotes from the stories they're reading. And then they have to attribute those quotes a certain way. (This is all familiar to those of us who are used to writing research papers. But I don't think I ever got this level of instruction when I learned. It would have been so helpful.)

The students don't like this at all. They have a hard time staying focused.

At some point during class, Mrs. D had to step out. 

And that's when Lou was ready to let loose. 

I asked him to sit in his seat (not on the desk). He didn't see my point. He wasn't doing anything wrong.

But then Mrs. D returned. And suddenly Lou knew exactly how to sit at his desk. 

Because yeah, even though Lou might like me, I'm still a sub. And Lou will take advantage of having a sub in the room.

Perhaps I just need to be meaner to them. But somehow I think they'd still be on sub behavior even then.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022


What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder.

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news.

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉 

I saw this:

And I thought it would make a good question. So...

What if you found that $10 million was mistakenly deposited into your bank account due to a computer glitch?

Monday, December 12, 2022

It's a Pouch

I did, in fact, finish my little project from last week.

It's called a Personal Pouch, and you can click on that link to see the pattern. 

I find interesting constructions fascinating, and this was small enough so that I could play with it. It's a simple square on the back:

While on the front, the triangles overlap: 

Which leaves the middle as a place to stash stuff: 

The lip balm kind of gives a sense of scale. The pattern blog post shows it containing earbuds. I didn't have any handy while taking the pics, but I did have a charging cable available: 

It's a quick little project that I might replicate if I find I have a need for more of these. I don't have a need for the one I made. Not really. But it was fun to do.

One of these days I'll get something really interesting going. Not this week likely, but one of these days.

Friday, December 9, 2022

The Sketch Notes

Eighth grade English. 

Some days, the classes actually do work. This was one of those days. 

(I mean, seriously, I had silent classes. Silent. I don't know what magic Ms. N works on those kiddos, but it's got to be something, as I've met many of them in other classes, and they don't behave like this there.) 

We were doing a "first read" on a poem. "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes.

As part of the first read, they were to make sketch notes

I just follow lesson plans. I had never heard of this sketch notes thing. Some of the students questioned it too, but there were examples on the board, and they realized that they had done this thing before.

Apparently, sketch notes are a thing where they draw pictures and write out quotes and things as "notes". 

We never did anything fun like this when I was in school. Of course, many of them didn't find it fun. Many of them couldn't get their heads around a "crystal stair". 

As it was a first read, I know that Ms. N will spend more time on the poem with them so they'll understand it more. But that will be something that happens on a day I'm not there.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Irritated 13

Have you ever had one of those days where everything just irritated you? I had one of those weeks. Last week. 

I resisted taking out my foul mood on those around me. Barely. But rather than writing a full week's worth of posts on the things that irritated me, I'm doing a Thursday 13 to contain them here. 

1. Monday was the first day back after Thanksgiving break. So, of course the secretary who checks subs in was out, leaving the back up secretary who didn't know how to give us subs access to the online attendance. So, not only did we have to take roll the old-fashioned way (on paper), we gave the attendance clerk more work when she had to input all of our absences herself. 

2. The lesson plans for Monday stated that the assignment for the students was in Google Classroom. Okay then. But, first period informed me that there was no assignment for them. Then second period said that it was there, but it was the same assignment they had before the break which they had already completed. Grrrr.

3. Grocery shopping, something I like to do, was just torture. The store was packed. It annoys me normally, but I was already irritated by my day.

4. So, driving home, it was getting dark out. I turn on my headlights. At a stop, I look up at my reflection in the car ahead of me, and was it...? Yup. There was not a reflection of a headlight where there should have been. One of my headlights had burned out. 

5. On Tuesday, I covered an ELD class. That stands for English Language Development. These are students whose first language isn't English, and they're there to learn English. Second class of the day, a student informed me in broken English that she didn't speak English and needed to work with another student at a different table.

The teacher had been quite clear that the students weren't to move. But what really irritated me was the whole "I don't speak English" routine. In any other class, I would have been more understanding, but if she barely spoke English, she would have been in the beginning/newcomer ELD class, not this more intermediate/advanced one. This was the wrong class to try to play off that lie.

How irritated was I? Irritated enough to include her name in my note. I don't usually bother, but this time, it had to be done.

6. The first class that day had the same assignment. I was supposed to make sure they stayed on task, and for the most part they did. But two boys kept trying to sneak games on their computers. I could see their screens from where I was stationed, but I had to get up and go over to them before they'd switch back to their assignment. Unless I stood over them, they kept going back to their games. Grrrr.

7. On Wednesday I was at the continuation high school. Another teacher there said he was going to be out on Monday. He let me know when he put the assignment in the sub app. And...? Someone else snagged it before I could catch it

Then the exact same thing happened on Friday. Different class, different school, but someone snatched another job right out from under me.

8. So far, December doesn't look like a busy working month. So, I was really disappointed to miss out on those assignments. As I write this, all that's in the system is elementary gigs. Am I that desperate to work? I'm not sure. I shouldn't wish for people to get sick, but here we are.

9. It's been a while since one of the middle schools did video morning announcements. But, of course, they'd do this last Thursday. And I only found out about it when it was time for the announcements, which didn't give me enough time to set up the projector and computer so they could see these announcements. A heads-up would have been nice. 

10. Thursday. 8th grade English. They were doing a first read assignment on a poem. It was due at the end of the period as an "exit ticket" (meaning I collect it from them as they leave the room). I let them know all of this at the beginning of class and I reminded them of this as they were packing up.

At the door, as I'm holding out my hand to one boy he said, "I'm doing it for homework." Oh no. No, you're not. You had the whole period to do this. 

How irritated by this was I? Irritated enough to match all the assignments to the student roster so I could find his name and include it in my note. That's a lot of effort to find one name, but it was worth it. 

11. I'm not sure how to write this. Jaylah got on my last nerve. I had her in class twice last week. She was in the summer school class, too. She did no work in either class (the ELD class and her 8th grade English class). She didn't get in anyone's way. She wasn't rude. But it just irked me. (This one I did not write down. Her teachers could see what she didn't accomplish.) 

12. I snagged my sweater. This one was bought, so it wasn't my handiwork that was upset. And it tends to snag, so this wasn't the first time. But I got to work only to find the snag, and there was no time to do anything about it. 

13. It was a busy Thursday, so of course I was asked to cover an extra period. But the timing. They don't give us keys for those rooms, so I have to find someone to open the door for me. Because the class followed lunch, those with keys were supervising the students at lunch. Plus, I had to hit the restroom before I got there. Normally I'd call the office, but to get back to a school phone to make the call... It was just awkward. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

World Cup Distraction

Last Wednesday I was back at the continuation high school. English. They were studying the Hero's Journey

Well, they were supposed to be studying the Hero's Journey. It was a great assignment with video examples and a flow chart for them to fill in so they could get a feel for the topic. 

"Can I go to Coach's room?" 

I usually get a couple requests a day from students who want to go to PE. The volleyball game is very popular. The students do have work to do, but it's their credits they're not earning. 

I check with Coach to make sure it's okay to send them. 

But on this day, they didn't want to play volleyball. On this day, Coach was playing the World Cup match in his room.

As soon as I let one kiddo go, five others popped up. "Can we go, too?"

The next thing I knew, half the class wanted to go. Sigh.

The next period, half the class came from Coach's room (which was next door) to "check in", that is, get marked present so they could go back to watching the game. 

I made a list of who went and left that for the teacher.

And then a few returned because the room was too crowded. They pulled up the game on their computers. 

Occasionally we would hear cheers from next door. Someone would clue us in to what had happened. 

The game ended a few minutes into fifth period. My students returned. Disappointed. 

Mexico lost. 

One girl who had dressed for the occasion in her Mexico jersey said that she wasn't surprised. She figures France is going to win it all. 

And for the rest of fifth period, they debated which team was the best. They all had their favorites. As many of them are from or have family from other countries, that meant that there were a variety of teams being rooted for.

As for me, I don't really follow sports, so I listened with half an ear. And I hoped that they would get their work done eventually.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Worldwide Hero?

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder.

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news.

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉 

What if you could save the world, but you had to sacrifice yourself to do it? (If you don't "save the world", there may not be a world to remain on. That's the only thing I'll specify.) 

Monday, December 5, 2022

Read the Directions

The other day while perusing Pinterest, I stumbled across a cute little project that seemed to be about my speed. I downloaded the pattern, searched out yarn (from my stash) and a crochet hook, and I then stared at the thing for about a week.

On Saturday I pulled it out and got to work.

I got quite a bit accomplished. 

That's all the pieces. Now I just need to assemble them. 

(No, I'm not going to tell you what it's going to be. I need something to write about next Monday.) 

But while I was working this, I did something stupid. The pattern has us creating all the triangles first. 

Well, I got a bit bored making triangles, so I decided to skip ahead and make the square and then go back and make the rest of the triangles. Only, with the triangles you cut the yarn. At the end of the square, you leave it attached to the yarn because it isn't quite finished yet.

I only read that instruction once I was just about done with the square. Sigh.

I considered ripping it out. I considered cutting the yarn and reattaching when I was done. I wanted to smack myself for not realizing the pieces were made in the order they were made for a reason.

In the end, I did the old pull-from-the-center trick. There's another end of yarn in the center of the ball. It can be hard to get to, but this way I didn't have to cut yarn when I didn't need to.

Next time (if there's a next time) I'll know better. 

Friday, December 2, 2022

Watch Out

The Friday before the Thanksgiving break, I agreed to cover a class at the alternative education center. It has been a long while since I was there last, things had only started opening up again after the virtual learning of the 2020-21 school year

But now things are back to somewhat normal, so I was expecting a challenging day. 

The alternative education center is where they send kiddos who have been expelled from other schools. At the beginning of the day, they "check in". This includes them getting wanded for miscellaneous metals and them taking off their shoes to show that they aren't hiding anything in them. 

Pretty much every student has a probation officer. 

Fifth period. It was "elective". They usually watch a movie, but for the day before Thanksgiving break, I put on a documentary I found on YouTube about Thanksgiving traditions. (The lesson plan said to find a documentary on YouTube.) 

The class wasn't into it, so they were entertaining themselves on their Chromebooks. I figured this was fine.

But Austin was bored. (No, not that Austin. And not that Austin, either. I'm not having good luck with the name Austin this year.) 

First he tried to change the video, but of course he chose something not appropriate for school. Then he decided that he'd rather draw on the smartboard, and he attempted to block me from changing the display back to the video. 

I got my way. Austin gave up and headed to the back of the room. I fiddled with the TV to get something appropriate playing.

That's when the first chair went flying. 

Earlier in the day a couple chairs had fallen over, plus a desk. I didn't think too much of this, earlier or then. When the second stool went flying, that's when I knew I had a problem.

But I didn't call the office until the third stool hit the ground. 

Was Austin throwing furniture at me? He waited until my back was turned, so I didn't see him do it. 

I don't know what they were expecting, but when I dialed the phone, every student was whispering. "She's calling the office." 

Shortly thereafter, the principal arrived. She removed Austin from class. And things got way calmer after that. (Austin heckled her, and he had already angered her earlier in the day, so he kind of selected himself for removal.) 

And you know what? No more furniture got hurled. So, win. 

(The chairs fell to positions nowhere near me, so I didn't feel like I was in any danger.) 

With fifth period finished, I was done for the day. (I do love a sixth period conference. I get to leave early.) 

I went to check out. Austin was stuck in the office. 

"Did I hit you?" He actually sounded a little apologetic. 

"No, you missed me." 

Austin: "It wasn't me throwing the chairs..." 

As he wound up for more denials, the principal barked out that Austin needed to be quiet. 

And I went home. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Turkey Day Vocab

I got to go to Turkey Day this year!

Turkey Day is an annual event at the continuation high school. The Thursday before Thanksgiving, the school hosts a turkey meal for the school and the district. (It's also a fundraiser for their scholarships.) 

Student volunteers serve the meal, but three teachers supervise, so subs are always needed. And bonus, we get to eat, too. I held off on accepting any sub gigs until the continuation high school gigs popped up.

It's been a couple years. Last year I was doing that long term assignment at the adult transition center, and the year before was 2020 (no in-person schooling, so no events like Turkey Day). 

While it had been a couple years since I attended, many of the students had never attended, so I explained how things were going to go, urging the students to go when it was their turn. (Many of them choose not to go and eat, and their reasons are spurious.)

I talked it up enough so that when it was Solomon's turn, he went. When he returned, he was asked how the food was. 

"It was okay." 

I think even if the food was spectacular, a teen would respond in this fashion. Okay is high praise, really. (His friend Malia asked if the turkey was "well seasoned". I think she was expecting a school to do gourmet.) 

Another friend wanted more information. "So, it was exceptional?"

Solomon chided his friend. "Exceptional is not the same as okay." 

Upon a bit of back and forth, Solomon realized what word his friend was looking for. "Acceptable." He agreed that the food was acceptable. 

It does my heart good when I hear them using words correctly, especially when the students are correcting each other. They do learn.